Chronic Gastrointestinal Bleeding

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Chronic Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is actually a symptom of digestive tract disorder. The blood usually appears in your stool or during vomiting yet it isn’t always visible. It usually cause the stool to look tarry or in black color. The bleeding level can usually range from mild to even severe. It can also be life-threatening at times.This recurrent overt blood loss is called as hematochezia or melena or as hematemesis. Typically this overt bleeding especially from the gastrointestinal tract is actually identified by the presence of iron deficiency anemia or by a positive stool test.

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Chronic Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Chronic Gastrointestinal Bleeding Diagnosis and Treatment:

Chronic Gastrointestinal Bleeding usually involves the following treatment procedures:

Prior to the Treatment:

  • In order to diagnose, your doctor will review your medical history, which includes your previous bleeding history, post which they conduct a physical exam as well as possibly order tests
  • Blood tests will be taken in order  to see how quick your blood clots, your platelet count as well as liver function tests
  • Your doctor analyzes your stools in order to find the cause of occult bleeding
  • In order to further determine the cause and diagnose, you will be asked to take upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy as well as capsule endoscopy
  • Angiography will be done in order to look and treat vessels that is bleeding as well as other abnormalities
  • Imaging tests such as CT scan will be done to determine the bleed source

During the Treatment:

  • In case you had an upper GI bleed, your doctor may  give an IV drug which is called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). This is given in order to suppress or stop stomach acid production
  • Based on the blood loss amount, your doctor might give you fluids especially through a needle (IV) and at times possibly through blood transfusions.
  • In most of the cases, medication in order to control the GI bleeding will be given mainly during certain tests. For example, it’s possible to treat a peptic ulcer bleeding especially during an upper endoscopy or in order to remove polyps found during a colonoscopy

Prognosis, Post-Treatment and Recovery:

  • Blood-thinning medications that include aspirin as well as other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications will be asked to stop.
  • Regular checkups that includes blood tests as well as other tests like stool tests will be asked by your doctor to be taken
  • Apart from that, your doctor will ask you to limit the use of your nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Recovery of a patient with chronic gastrointestinal problems usually take some time
  • Alcohol consumption and smoking will be asked by your doctor to stop

Chronic Gastrointestinal Bleeding Complications:

Few of the complications of chronic gastrointestinal bleed in stools are as follows:

  • Anemia
  • Shock
  • Death 


Chronic GI can be either hidden or overt and usually depends on the bleed location. The symptoms of overt bleeding of chronic gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding are as follows:

  • Vomiting blood which looks red or sometimes dark brown. It resembles mostly of coffee ground emesis or in texture
  • Black tarry stool (bright red blood in stool/blood in poop
  • Rectal bleeding which is usually with or in the stool

Symptoms of occult bleeding are as follows:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Difficulty in  breathing
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain

Symptoms of shock especially when your bleeding starts and progresses fastly, you almost could get into shock. The signs of internal bleeding are as follows:

  • Blood pressure drops
  • Urinating in small amounts or not at all
  • Rapid pulse
  • Unconsciousness


Usually gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding can either occur in the upper or sometimes in the lower gastrointestinal tract. The causes of it are follows:

Upper GI bleeding causes:

  • Peptic ulcer: Most common causes of GI bleeding in the upper area is peptic ulcer. These ulcers are actually sores which develop on the stomach lining and also in the upper portion of your small intestine. Acid in your stomach is either from the  bacteria or from the anti-inflammatory drugs usage, the lining of your stomach is damaged. It leads to formation of sores.
  • Lining of the tube which connects your throat to your esophagus getting torn
  • Enlarged or sometimes abnormal veins in your esophageal varices
  • Esophagitis

Lower GI bleeding causes:

  • Tumors can weaken the digestive tract lining and cause GI bleeding
  • Colon polyps can cause bleeding
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Anal fissures
  • Diverticular disease
  • IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Proctitis


1. What does blood in stool usually look like?

The blood in your poop looks like bright red streaks or it could look like blood mixed in with it. Blood in stool is very dark and tarry. At times, you can even have stool blood which is not visible. 

2. What does black poop usually mean?

Black poop usually indicates that you have injuries in your gastrointestinal tract or in certain cases it indicates bleeding.

3. What is melena?

Melaena usually is a black tarry stool that occurs as a result of upper GI or gastrointestinal bleeding.

4. What are a few disorders of chronic gastrointestinal issues?

Constipation, hemorrhoids and bowel syndrome that is irritable are few disorder of gastrointestinal issues.

5. What is the use of pepto bismol for black stool issues?

It is usually used in order to treat diarrhea as well as symptoms that are associated with indigestion.